Candice Breitz considers global scale of the refugee crisis and whose voices we are willing to listen to in Love Story at Tate Liverpool.
From 11 July, Tate Liverpool will present Candice Breitz’s Love Story 2016 for the first time in the UK. Her highly topical, thought-provoking, seven-channel installation considers whose voices we are willing to listen to in a media-saturated world. Does our need to be entertained harm our ability to pay attention? How does the manner in which a story is told encourage or reduce our ability to feel empathy?
Evoking the global scale of the refugee crisis, Love Story is based on interviews with six people from different parts of the world who have been forced to flee unbearable circumstances in their home countries.
In a first room, actors Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore re-perform fragments from these interviews in a fast-paced montage on a large cinema-sized screen. Breitz’s edit intertwines the six renditions, plotting the diverse socio-political circumstances and personal experiences that prompted the interviewees to leave their countries. These performances are followed in a second space by the original full-length interviews, presented on six individual screens, as each of the refugees share their lived experiences.
Love Story reflects on a media environment that prioritises celebrity over the real-life experiences of people facing adversity. Blockbuster films or celebrity-led charity campaigns may move audiences, but those most affected are seldom given the opportunity to tell their own stories.
The interviews were conducted in Berlin, New York and Cape Town, where each person was seeking or had recently been granted asylum. They feature Sarah Ezzat Mardini, who escaped war-torn Syria; José Maria João, a former child soldier from Angola; Mamy Maloba Langa, who fled sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Shabeena Francis Saveri, an Indian transgender activist; Luis Ernesto Nava Molero, a political dissident from Venezuela; and Farah Abdi Mohammed, a young atheist from Somalia.
One of the most talked-about works at the 2017 Venice Biennale, this is the first time that Love Story has been shown in the UK since being acquired for Tate’s collection.
Born in in Johannesburg, Candice Breitz (b.1972) is a Berlin-based artist whose moving image installations have been shown internationally. Solo exhibitions of Breitz’s work have been held at Fondazione Modena Arti Visive, Modena; Kunstmuseum, Stuttgart; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; and the South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
For more information visit https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool
Image Credit: Candice Breitz Stills from Love Story, 2016 Featuring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin – Channel Installation: 7 Hard Drives. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Outset Germany (Berlin) and the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg.
Main Image photo credit: @practicallyphotographic